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Meditation: Common Mistakes and How to Fix Them

By Genevieve Cunningham

Meditation is an excellent addition to any person's life. Research has long shown the positive effects of taking some time for yourself for peace and quiet and gentle reflection. If you're new to meditation, it's possible that you're becoming a bit discouraged. Why? Because meditation is a bit harder than it may seem. Luckily, most of the mistakes that people make with meditation are minor and easily corrected. If you're eager to get your meditation practice on the road, take a look at these three common mistakes and some tips for making meditation work for you.

You're Thinking Too Hard

The basic idea behind meditation is to stop thinking. Of course when you tell yourself to stop thinking, the thoughts seem to come faster than ever. Luckily, you don't actually have to stop all of your thoughts. Instead, relax a little bit and simply listen to the chaos of your mind. Listen to the thoughts that are going through it. Instead of ceasing thought, become an observer of your thought. If you can master this for even a few seconds at a time, you'll be that much closer to enjoying the benefits of meditation.

You're Meditating Too Long

You shouldn't begin meditation for long periods of time. Meditation is something that has to be expanded upon as you practice. A lot of people jump into the practice thinking they can meditate for 30 minutes or an hour. It's almost guaranteed that this won't happen. Instead try meditating for one minute or five minutes. You would rather have a short quality meditation than a long frustrating practice anyway. Start extremely small, and work your way up to a longer time frame whenever you're ready.

You Have Too Many Expectations

A lot of people go into meditation expecting really great things to happen. They expect almost instant stress relief, a mind opening experience, or a peaceful feeling that never leaves the body. None of these things are going to happen. Go into meditation without any expectations at all. Leave your mind open and willing to receive any benefits that may come into your life. This allows you to enjoy the practice rather than worry about whether you're doing it right or whether what you're feeling is right or not. Relax and enjoy the ride.

Meditation really can be great for your life. It's an ancient practice full of ancient wisdom. But you have to relax and enjoy the process. If you can minimize expectations, open your mind to some possibilities, and ease into the practice, you may find that meditation makes a bigger difference in your life than you ever imagined.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in West Covina, Calif.

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